Expanded to accommodate some 60,000 students, PNU is the largest ladies university in the Middle East. MSD worked with local sign suppliers Fame Advertising and Adart Medyan Signs to conclude the construction design, artwork and implementation of the wayfinding scheme for the university.
During construction design the original design aesthetic had to be closely guarded while overcoming the material and process restrictions of sourcing in the local Saudi market. The process involved extensive drawing, material sampling and prototyping before the signs could be passed to manufacture. The artwork was controlled by MSD and, appropriately, implemented by Adart’s new Saudi lady design department. It took 5 lady graduates to conclude the analysis of the 8,000 page wayfinding manual. This was in English and the ladies produced the final dual language sign faces with the appropriate pictograms.
The scheme covers some 95 buildings designed for student accommodation, sporting facilities and the main College buildings themselves. An integral part of the project is the metro train system – the APM (Automated People Mover). This system required both wayfinding and trackside signage across 14 stations– some 4000 signs in all.
Key to making this project successful, MSD implementation staff were onsite in Riyadh coordinating the installation and reporting progress to the client. Being at site and in the manufacturing plant was the only way to control the processes and quality. Supervision during the installation was particularly critical to ensure that fixing techniques were followed consistently over the high volume of signs.
In a short period some 110 different sign types were designed and the total quantity of signs exceeded 25,000 – all delivered inside a 6-month period in a multi trade, multi cultural environment.
*Preliminary concept design by Perkins + Will
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Roddy Strang provides an insight into how to deliver a successful wayfinding project